Apparently, environmental groups today sent a letter to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) calling on the agency to reject industry efforts to weaken global warming standards for ethanol. The letter comes on the cusp of EPA calculations of greenhouse gas emissions that are the result of the use of biofuels. In keeping with the energy bill set into law last December, these calculations are expected to include indirect externalities such as land use changes as they affect greenhouse gas emissions.
It has been found that emissions from land use changes, such as deforestation activities that surround biofuel production, are twice the emissions released during gasoline consumption.
The bottom line is that ethanol production causes the significant release of greenhouse gas emissions, leading to further global warming and climate change, consequences that biofuel production ironically intends to address.
First published November 3, 2008